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Soulless (AI) Art

SOULLESS (AI) ART 📱📱📱 For the past few months there has been an increasing discussion in the Art community about the use of Artificial Intelligence generated content.
Many renowned artists like Miki Montllo or Loish have wonderfully commented on the ethics and legality of mechanically building images based on millions of existing ones without their authors' consent.

Whether we like it or not, AI is already used in several fields, from routine text to scientific models with great success, but what happens when we apply it to the creative industries? As an illustrator, this issue is important for me, and after a lot of thinking here are my thoughts on the subject.
I believe the issue with AI is both legal and philosophical, and I'll try to address both of them:

This has been by far the most commented aspect of the matter. In its essence, Artificial intelligence works by "harvesting" millions of images online which then processes into a new image based on text prompts. When properly used, AI can be a great tool to assist creators in their workflow, the problem starts when unethical platforms let their AI scan the internet without any limitation and use copyrighted images to learn. The debate has been whether the end result is transformative enough (i.e. new) from the original material or not and therefore constitutes copyright infringement.

Many say that a human artist develops his/her craft very much like a machine by absorbing different influences. This is, in my opinion, a false equivalence as the mechanisms of copy and synthesis of a machine are not the same as of a person. A person can make ethical decisions based on content and can be legally held responsible if the copy is too close. A machine doesn't have these constraints.

Adding to the issue, AI art can't be copyrighted (see the monkey selfie case), so even the AI prompters are on the line. The only people who profit from this theft are, like always, the corporations involved.

Make no mistake, AI is here to stay, but technology should be regulated and ethically used in order not to fall into savage exploitation. Creators should be given legal protection that already exists in several areas (law, medicine, architecture, etc).

The good news is that a class action headed by artists like Sarah Anderson, Karla Ortiz and Kelly McKernan against Stability, Midjourney and Deviant Art has been announced, which will hopefully set a precedent. Getty Images has also filed a claim.

I've read a very interesting article by Nick Cave in which he calls AI "a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human".

I already said in the beginning that AI is used computationally in several fields with great results. But specifically, can it replace human creativity in art? Of course, what is art and what is not is just a matter of convention, so let's just talk about the creative process.

The creative process is a long and difficult one as any creative will tell you, full of insecurities and detours. You are not only influenced by other people's work, but by your own life and experiences. Without living, you can't make art. Some people use it as a means to express themselves, some people use it for validation. Sometimes it is rewarding, sometimes it is frustrating... but it's never easy.

Is AI being used as a shortcut by people too scared (or can't be bothered) to face the pitfalls of creativity and just want fast money or success? I kind of think so.

For me, AI art lacks the purpose and soul that makes us human. You can argue that AI will represent progress for humanity, but what humanity is left when everything is done by machines?

Thanks so much for reading until the end! What are your opinions on the subject?
Here's my illustration on the subject, using Michaelangelo's work as an example.

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